May 23, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles second baseman Ryan Flaherty (3) is out at second as Boston Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles (3) is able to turn the double play in the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

Red Sox 6, Orioles 5: Three Homers From The Bottom Of The Lineup Power Sox Past Orioles

The Red Sox returned to .500 Wednesday behind homers from the most unlikely trio of Daniel Nava, Kelly Shoppach, and Scott Podsednik, finishing their stretch of 20 games in 20 days with a series win over the Orioles.

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Red Sox Extras: Unlikely Heroes Lift Sox

The Red Sox beat the Orioles 6-5 Wednesday in a manner so improbable that I'm still not entirely sure it even happened.

At the beginning of the year, Scott Podsednik was just barely still in baseball. He'd spent the entirety of 2011 in the minor leagues, and started 2012 in the same place. What's more, he wasn't particularly good there, managing only a .609 OPS in 31 Triple-A games this year.

Daniel Nava had been out of the majors for just as long, with his career path on a decided downward trend ever since the grand slam he hit on his first major league pitch. He seemed, for all the world, like a Quadruple-A player who might occasionally see some time starting for second division teams--in fact, he might still be that, but yesterday was another story.

As for Kelly Shoppach, he was the only one who actually had a place with the Red Sox coming into the season, which was frankly a bit shocking given his .185/.285/.340 performance over the last two years.

So how did we get here? How did these men come together to provide the Red Sox with a big win on Wednesday? More injuries than you can shake a stick at...and a hot streak by an entirely different player.

The number of men Nava and Shoppach had between them and a place in the starting lineup to start the year was substantial. Podsednik wasn't even in the organization! Slowly but surely, however, the Sox started to fall. Ryan Kalish has been hurt one way or another for over a year now, Crawford went down over the offseason, and Ellsbury joined them on the disabled list after just seven games. The initial depth at the position in the likes of Jason Repko and Darnell McDonald did not survive much longer, but that still left the two intended to be a right field platoon in Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ross.

Then Sweeney concussed himself, Ross broke his foot, and suddenly there they were. Daniel Nava in left, Scott Podsednik in center, and the Sox roster reading more like an ICU guest book than anything else.

But why was Shoppach so surprising? Simply because he should ideally never be taking at bats from Jarrod Saltalamacchia against a right-hander like Jake Arietta. Sure enough, however, there he was, getting the nod thanks to the six straight games in which Saltalamacchia spent some time behind the plate, riding a hot streak during which he's hit 13-for-33 with three homers. Had the hot Salty not been facing some southpaws, it seems unlikely that Kelly Shoppach and his platoon splits (however reversed they are so far this year) would have been in the game so early.

Three homers from three players who nobody would have expected to be starting in this situation back in April. Two of whom we may not even have expected to be with the team at any point in the year.

He we are, however, with May winding down, a banged up team, and a win provided by the unlikeliest of sources. At this point, Sox fans will take whatever help they can get.


Final - 5.23.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston Red Sox 0 1 1 0 0 3 0 1 0 6 13 0
Baltimore Orioles 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 5 7 0
WP: Daniel Bard (4 - 5)
SV: Alfredo Aceves (11)
LP: Jake Arrieta (2 - 5)

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Red Sox Vs. Orioles Final Score: Three Unlikely Homers Power Sox To 6-5 Victory

The Red Sox needed big contributions from three unlikely sources Wednesday night to take their first series from the Baltimore Orioles in 10 months with a 6-5 win.

It's amazing to think that it's been so long since the Sox were last able to get the best of the AL East's long-time cellar dwellers (and current leaders), but between the terrible results in last September and the sweep they suffered in Fenway earlier this month, the Sox hadn't taken so much as 2-of-3 from the Orioles since last July.

One of the men who would help to end that streak for Boston was Daniel Bard, who had what is becoming a typical start for him this year. Unimpressive early, Bard would load the bases with one out in the first before escaping with only one run coming in on a sacrifice fly. Nick Johnson would then lead off the next inning with a solo homer off what may have been a flat 91 MPH changeup, or an unusually slow fastball. Given that Bard's velocity seemed diminshed all day, the latter seems more likely, but whether it was a changeup or a fastball, it was flat, up in the zone, just off-center, and incredibly hittable.

Bard would settle down from there, though he did continue to struggle with fastball command. He was helped by his defense, with Mike Aviles snagging a line drive up the middle in the third and turning it into two outs to put out a fire before it even started. The last out of the inning would come with Jarrod Satlalamacchia gunning down Adam Jones at second.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, had evened the score. A Scott Podsednik GIDP with the bases loaded and nobody out turned a promising second inning into just the one run, and Kevin Youkilis was thrown out at home on an RBI double by Will Middlebrooks, but the tying two runs came in all-the-same.

They would end up taking the lead in the sixth thanks to the aforementioned unlikely sources. Daniel Nava was first, pulling a two-run shot to right field to make it 3-2 before Kelly Shoppach went to left for a homer of his own and, with Podsednik on base by way of a single, a 5-2 lead.

The lead would quickly shrink to 5-4 in the bottom half of the sixth when Nick Johnson managed to get around on an inside fastball from Andrew MIller, who had just walked Wilson Betemit to first. The homer brought the Orioles within one swing of the bat, but a Scott Podsednik homer in the eighth would extend the lead back to two runs.

The bottom half of the eighth would provide the tensest moments of the game for the Sox, who saw Vicente Padilla put two men on to lead off his second inning of work. A strikeout of Chris Davis helped his cause, but a bloop off the bat of Wilson Betemit seemed destined for the grass before Che-Hsuan Lin showed his value in the field, swooping in to make the grab and hold the Orioles to just a sacrifice fly. Alfredo Aceves would pick up the last out of the inning before making clean work of it in the ninth to give the Sox the win.


Final - 5.23.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston Red Sox 0 1 1 0 0 3 0 1 0 6 13 0
Baltimore Orioles 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 5 7 0
WP: Daniel Bard (4 - 5)
SV: Alfredo Aceves (11)
LP: Jake Arrieta (2 - 5)

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Red Sox Vs. Orioles Lineup: Adrian Gonzalez Still In Right Field

Not often do you see a gold glove first baseman somehow find himself ambling around in the outfield. Then again, we are talking about the Boston Red Sox.

After going to right field for only the sixth time in his great career, Adrian Gonzalez will again be back out there with the return of Kevin Youkilis shuffling the deck.

Not much in the way of changes for Wednesday's affair, sans a different catcher and Marlon Byrd taking a day off in favor of Scott Podsednik.

Without further adieu, the lineups for today's 12:35 p.m. ET game:

Mike Aviles, SS

Dustin Pedroia, 2B

David Ortiz, DH

Adrian Gonzalez, RF

Kevin Youkilis, 1B

Will Middlebrooks, 3B

Daniel Nava, LF

Scott Podsednik, CF

Kelly Shoppach, C

Manager Bobby Valentine has to be hoping for some better production than last night, which only yielded only run off of Brian Matusz. With a win, the Red Sox can climb back to .500.

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Red Sox Extras: Brian Matusz' Unhittable Slider

The Red Sox fell to the Orioles last night thanks to Brian Matusz' season-best start, complete with nine strike outs and all of three baserunners.

And it's all (or at least largely) thanks to the slider.

According to Brooks Baseball, in addition to fastballs, Matusz featured a curveball, changeup, and one cruel slider. 26 times, Matusz offered up a slider, and a remarkable eight times Red Sox hitters took their swings and came up completely empty.

Matusz would use the pitch to quiet the bats of some of Boston's hottest hitters. Jarrod Saltalamacchia went down on three straight sliders in the fifth inning. David Ortiz was made the first victim in the first inning, striking out to end the inning. Most effected, however, was Adrian Gonzalez. Despite having the best contact of the game for Sox batters outside of Kevin Youkilis, Gonzalez was helpless in the face of the slider. It got Matusz ahead of him in the second, and struck him out in the fourth, and in the last at bat of Matusz' night, Gonzalez saw the slider no fewer than five times, with the last earning the strikeout.

It's disappointing that the Red Sox could go down so easily despite featuring one of their best lineups of the year and even getting a home run from one of the bigger questions in Kevin Youkilis, sometimes you have to just tip your cap. Not only did Brian Matusz' slider completely devastate a strong-hitting lineup, but one of the best teams at hitting the slider so far in the game.

And the two batters who have done best against the slider?

Jarrod Saltalamacchia and, of course, Adrian Gonzalez.

When a pitcher can take the pitch a hitter is most comfortable against and use it effectively against him, that's something special.


Final - 5.22.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston Red Sox 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0
Baltimore Orioles 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 X 4 7 0
WP: Brian Matusz (4 - 4)
SV: Jim Johnson (16)
LP: Felix Doubront (4 - 2)

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Red Sox Vs. Orioles Final Score: Brian Matusz Silences Boston Bats As Sox Fall 4-1

Four the fourth time this year, the Red Sox had a chance to breach the .500 mark. For the fourth time this year, they failed, managing almost nothing against a dominant Brian Matusz as they fell to 21-22 on the season.

While Brian Matusz had spent much of the season disappointing, entering the game with an ERA of 5.36, the young southpaw was a completely different man against the Red Sox. After retiring the side in order in both the first and second innings, Matusz would allow a single to Adrian Gonzalez and walk Jarrod Saltalamacchia before getting Daniel Nava looking to end the inning.

Those would be half of the Sox batters to reach base all game. Meanwhile, the Orioles pushed two runs across off of Felix Doubront in the second. A home run from Steve Tolleson provided the scoring for Baltimore as Boston's starter struggled through the earlier innings.

Doubront would settle down in the second half of his outing, finishing the game with nine strikeouts in six innings of work and allowing no more runs, while Kevin Youkilis made his return a successful one by taking Matusz deep in the fourth inning on a high fastball over the outside part of the plate.

The homer brought the Red Sox within one, but that was as close as they would get, as Matusz wouldn't allow another ball to so much as reach the outfield. The Orioles' bullpen managed to provide much the same level of production while Matt Albers was busy giving up another two-run shot to the Orioles, leaving the Sox down 4-1.

Adrian Gonzalez would finally manage to get another ball out of the infield in the ninth, but even his slicing liner managed to find a glove in left field, giving the Orioles the final out they needed to end the game.


Final - 5.22.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston Red Sox 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0
Baltimore Orioles 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 X 4 7 0
WP: Brian Matusz (4 - 4)
SV: Jim Johnson (16)
LP: Felix Doubront (4 - 2)

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Red Sox Vs. Orioles Live Blog: Inning By Inning Updates For Game 2

It's an unusual scene at Camden Yards Tuesday night, with Kevin Youkilis back at first base for the Red Sox and Adrian Gonzalez playing right field in an American League park.

We'll keep you up to date with all the action as it goes down in Baltimore.

Orioles 4, Red Sox 1, Final -- 1-2-3 go the Sox, as they once again fail to breach .500.

Orioles 4, Red Sox 1, End 8th -- Matt Albers once again lets slip that he's not actually very good outside of his bursts of brilliance, surrendering a two-run shot to Wilson Betemit that likely means the end for the Sox.

Orioles 2, Red Sox 1, Mid 8th -- A walk is all the Sox get, as they are left to their last three chances to push a run across.

Orioles 2, Red Sox 1, End 7th -- Matt Albers continues to dominate his old club, coming in to clean up a mess on back-to-back strikeouts after Franklin Morales allowed two of the three batter he faced to reach base.

Orioles 2, Red Sox 1, Mid 7th -- Matusz picks up his ninth strikeout in his final at bat of the game, as Buck Showalter pulls him with his pitch count over 100. Darren O'Day, unfortunately, picks up right where Matusz left off, striking out Kevin Youkilis and Will Middlebrooks to end the inning.

Orioles 2, Red Sox 1, End 6th -- Felix Doubront ends up striking out the side, but an 11-pitch at bat against Adam Jones leaves Doubront's pitch count high, and likely will end his night after six innings.

Orioles 2, Red Sox 1, Mid 6th -- Matusz builds his strikeout total to eight as he and Doubront have started trading zeros. This has been Matusz at his best tonight, which is something the Orioles haven't seen in a rather long time. Just Boston's luck that it comes in a game that, at least mentally, has to be huge for them.

Orioles 2, Red Sox 1, End 5th -- Doubront matches Matusz' strikeout total by fanning J.J. Hardy to end his second straight clean inning. Now with 83 pitches on his arm, six innings seems more than possible for the young lefty.

Orioles 2, Red Sox 1, Mid 5th -- Apparently Brian Matusz chose today to turn his season around. His six strikeouts on the night ties a not-too-impressive season high, and this is only the third time in eight tries that an opponent has fewer than three runs with him on the mound. Hopefully Boston can turn that around soon, but other than Youkilis' homer there's no sign that any such turnaround is coming.

Orioles 2, Red Sox 1, End 4th -- Felix Doubront finally gets the Orioles to go down in order, but with over 70 pitches already on his arm, he's going to need some quick outs if he wants to get much further in this game--particularly given his tendency to fade late.

Orioles 2, Red Sox 1, Mid 4th -- Kevin Youkilis' second at bat goes much better than his first, as the once again first baseman deposits a 1-1 fastball left high over the outside part of the plate and deposits it firmly into the bullpen in left-center field for a home run, putting the Sox on the board for the first time in the fourth.

Orioles 2, Red Sox 0, End 3rd -- Felix Doubront still can't pick up a 1-2-3 inning, surrendering a base hit to Adam Jones with two outs that extends his hitting streak to double digits. Still, a much easier frame than the first two.

Orioles 2, Red Sox 0, Mid 3rd -- The Sox go just as quietly in the third as they did in the first, leaving Brian Matusz looking awfully strong through three. Boston has had some sort of aversion to breaking .500 so far this season, never quite managing to get over that hump. Hopefully this isn't another rendition of that tired act.

Orioles 2, Red Sox 0, End 2nd -- Felix Doubront gives up a leadoff walk, and then allows a home run to Steve Tolleson on the first pitch of his at bat. He struck out Robert Andino to end the inning on a good note, but getting beat up throughout the lineup is not a good sign, obviously enough.

Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, Mid 2nd -- The Sox make Matusz work harder for his outs, putting two men on with a leadoff single to left by Adrian Gonzalez, and a 2-out walk by Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Unfortunately, what could have been a bigger inning still led to no runs, as Kevin Youkilis' first at bat went from 3-0 to 3-3, with Youkilis watching strike three come across, and Daniel Nava doing the same to end the inning.

Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, End 1st -- Felix Doubront has a much harder time of things in the bottom of the first, allowing two baserunners on a walk and a ground ball single, but manages to escape the frame with a pair of strikeouts and a fly ball. Still, tons of pitches for the young lefty. Not the best of starts.

Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, Mid 1st -- Brian Matusz enjoys a much easier first inning than one would hope, getting easy outs from Mike Aviles and Dustin Pedroia before striking out David Ortiz to finish a quick 1-2-3 inning. It's not too unusual, however, for the Sox to need once through the lineup before seeing their best production, so no worries just yet.

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Red Sox Vs. Orioles Lineups: Kevin Youkilis Returns, Adrian Gonzalez Moves To Right Field

The Red Sox will have Kevin Youkilis back in the lineup Tuesday night, with Adrian Gonzalez moving to right field to accomodate Youkilis' return to first as the Red Sox take on the Orioles. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. EST with broadcasts by NESN and WEEI.

For weeks we've been wondering whether the Sox would give up having Will Middlebrooks' bat in the lineup and glove in the field when Kevin Youkilis made his return. Now the answer seems to have been made for them with the broken foot of Cody Ross bringing their outfield to new lows. Having Adrian Gonzalez in right field is far from ideal, but the differences in bats between the likes of Che-Hsuan Lin and Will Middlebrooks seems to have been massive enough to warrant the switch, at least on a short-term basis.

Boston Red Sox (21-21)

  1. Mike Aviles, SS
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. David Ortiz, DH
  4. Adrian Gonzalez, RF
  5. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
  6. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  8. Daniel Nava, LF
  9. Marlon Byrd, CF

Baltimore Orioles (27-16)

  1. Robert Andino, 2B
  2. J.J. Hardy, SS
  3. Nick Markakis, RF
  4. Adam Jones, CF
  5. Matt Wieters, C
  6. Wilson Betemit, 1B
  7. Chris Davis, DH
  8. Steve Tolleson, 3B
  9. Xavier Avery, LF

Final - 5.21.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston Red Sox 0 0 2 0 0 3 2 1 0 8 14 0
Baltimore Orioles 0 0 4 1 0 0 0 1 0 6 9 0
WP: Andrew Miller (1 - 0)
SV: Alfredo Aceves (10)
LP: Kevin Gregg (2 - 2)

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Scott Podsednik Status: Red Sox Recall Outfielder From Pawtucket

The Boston Red Sox have called up outfielder Scott Podsednik from Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday (via WEEI).

Podsednik is with the team as they prepare for today's game in Baltimore against the Orioles. This call-up might mean that outfielder Ryan Sweeney is headed for the 7-day disabled list with post-concussion symptoms.

Podsednik was acquired earlier in May with a trade with the Phillies. His last time playing in the major leagues was in 2010 with the Dodgers and Royals. He has spent his time this season in the minors between Lehigh Valley and Pawtucket. In 31 games, he is hitting .238 with one home run and 10 RBI. He also has 11 walks and eight stolen bases out of nine attempts. During his 2010 season in MLB, Podsednik swiped 35 bases while hitting .297 with six homers, 51 RBI and 40 walks.

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Red Sox Extras: Lineup, Bullpen Come Through To Bail Out Clay Buchholz

There is very little going right for Clay Buchholz this season. From all the homers, to the terrible fastball location, to inconsistent secondary offerings, there is a reason why his ERA is what it is.

Still, when it comes to issues off the mound, Clay Buchholz has been the most fortunate man in the game. In fact, it's not even close: Buchholz' 12.07 runs of support rank tops in the majors by about a run and a half over that of his teammate Felix Doubront. Even as bad as he's been, the Sox have somehow managed to, time and again, pull him out of harm's way with massive offensive performances.

Monday was no different in this regard. Clay Buchholz was bad, bad, bad. While he certainly seemed to be on for the first two innings, he collapsed under the slightest bit of pressure, and ended up with a truly awful showing in the box score--if not for the five runs in under six innings, then for the four walks, six hits, and only two strikeouts. Once again, however, the Sox were there for him.

Every single batter in the Boston lineup picked up at least one hit, with four managing multi-hit games. Especially impressive were Will Middlebrooks, who held up on a tempting 1-2 curveball before slapping an RBI single up the middle in the seventh as part of a three-hit night, and David Ortiz, who launched one of the longest homers of the year to right field to revive the Sox in the sixth. Daniel Nava also continued his run of strong performances, going 2-for-3 and giving Boston the first baserunner of the game in a two-run third.

The bullpen, too, made its mark on the game. A unit that has been the best in the major leagues since the beginning of May, the pen is even starting to see some roles worked out as time passes. While the Sox are still seemingly in search of the eighth-inning setup man they were hoping first Mark Melancon, then Franklin Morales could be, they have suddenly found two exceptional firemen, if you will--the first option in cases of big jams.

Andrew Miller seems to have become the go-to man in situations where a flagging starter has put some dangerous runners on base, coming in to save Buchholz after he put two men on with one out in the sixth. And, should the same situation present itself in later innings, Vicente Padilla has been remarkable at keeping cleaning up messes. So far Padilla has allowed not one of the 15 runners he's inherited to cross home plate.

As for who will finally fill that setup role, the Sox seem to have pegged Rich Hill to get the next shot at it, but the lefty hasn't excelled in that position thus far. Though he has still seen strong results in his limited innings, Hill hasn't felt quite as solid as he did last year, sometimes struggling with control and seeming all-too-hittable at times. Perhaps the answer for the Sox is as simple as turning back to a former option in Mark Melancon. He's been incredible so far in the minor leagues.

The Sox will go for a fourth straight win and aim to finally rise above .500 Tuesday night as Felix Doubront takes the mound against Brian Matusz.

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Red Sox Vs. Orioles Final Score: Sox Down Orioles 5-1, Draw Even With Yankees At .500

The Red Sox finally managed to defeat the Orioles by a score of 5-1 Monday night, returning to .500 for the first time in weeks and drawing even with the Yankees at the bottom of a stacked AL East.

The win came with no thanks to the man on the mound to start the game for the Red Sox. Clay Buchholz, just four days removed from his only truly good start of the season, returned to square one with a terrible third inning.

After pitching two perfect frames to start the game, Buchholz surrendered a leadoff ground ball single just past a diving Dustin Pedroia. From there, it was same as ever for the third man in the rotation: one bad break, and everything went to pieces. A walk put two men on, his failure to field a bunt left it up to Will Middlebrooks, who could only watch as the bases were loaded, and then another walk brought home a run. An infield single, another RBI walk, and a double play later, and it was a four-run frame for the Orioles. A leadoff homer from Chris Davis in the next inning gave them a fifth.

The Sox had already managed to pick up a pair of runs in the top half of the third thanks to the efforts of Daniel Nava, Marlon Byrd, and Mike Aviles. But it wouldn't be until sixth that they really got going again. David Ortiz would provide the spark that unsettled Tommy Hunter, hitting a mammoth shot completely out of Camden Yards to right. Hits from Adrian Gonzalez and Will Middlebrooks would put the tying runs on base, where they would score on a sacrifice fly from Daniel Nava and a rare Pro-Boston balk call.

The Sox would keep right on rolling into the seventh, with Adrian Gonzalez hitting a sacrifice fly and Will Middlebrooks driving in Dustin Pedroia from second to make it 7-5. Pedroia would be the one doing the scoring in the next inning, singling to left to bring in Che-Hsuan Lin, on base with the first single of his big-league career.

The game would get tense in the eighth, as Rich HIll allowed a run to score and put the tying runs in scoring position with one out, but Vicente Padilla would be called in to work his inherited runner magic one more, stranding both and allowing Alfredo Aceves to come in and make the save in the ninth.


Final - 5.21.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston Red Sox 0 0 2 0 0 3 2 1 0 8 14 0
Baltimore Orioles 0 0 4 1 0 0 0 1 0 6 9 0
WP: Andrew Miller (1 - 0)
SV: Alfredo Aceves (10)
LP: Kevin Gregg (2 - 2)

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Red Sox Vs Orioles Live Blog: Inning By Inning Updates For Game 1

The Red Sox and Orioles are at it again, with the Sox going in search of some revenge after being swept by the Orioles in Fenway earlier in the month.

We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Camden Yards.

Red Sox 8, Orioles 6, Final -- The Red Sox manage to overcome Clay Buchholz' bad start to finally knock off the Orioles. It's a much-needed win that gets them back up to .500 for the first time in a long while.

Red Sox 8, Orioles 6, Mid 9th -- Troy Patton makes quick work of the Sox in the ninth. Alfredo Aceves will have to hold the Orioles with just the two-run lead in the bottom half.

Red Sox 8, Orioles 6, End 8th -- Vicente Padilla is some sort of Houdini. Coming in after Rich Hill made a mess of things, allowing a run and putting men on second and third with one out in the eighth, Padilla came in, induced a shallow fly ball to left to hold the runners, and struck out Nick Johnson to make it 0-of-15 inherited runners he's allowed to score.

Red Sox 8, Orioles 5, Mid 8th -- A quick rally takes advantage of Che-Hsuan Lin's first big-league hit and a wild pitch on strike three to add a run to Boston's total. Lin's single to left came with two outs and two strikes as, of course, did the wild pitch to Mike Aviles that let him reach second. A shallow single to left from Dustin Pedroia proved enough to score the very speedy Lin and give the Sox a welcome insurance run.

Red Sox 7, Orioles 5, End 7th -- Who is this and what has he done with Andrew Miller? Painting the corners with fastballs and off-speed pitches alike, Miller struck out two batters in a 1-2-3 seventh despite being given little benefit of the doubt.

Red Sox 7, Orioles 5, Mid 7th -- The top of the order gets the rally started, with Mike Aviles singling to left and Dustin Pedroia doubling to right with one out before the middle of the order makes good on the start with some very solid at bats. After an intentional walk to David Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez works the count to 2-2 and protects the plate on a perhaps too-high fastball, but still puts more than enough of a charge into the ball to get Aviles home from third. Will Middlebrooks is up next, and after taking a 1-2 curveball he may have swung at a week ago for a ball, he jumps all over a four-seamer low in the zone and shoots it up the middle for an RBI single.

Red Sox 5, Orioles 5, End 6th -- Clay Buchholz does his best to give up the lead, allowing two men to reach with one out, but Andrew Miller enters te game and records one out on the ground and another through the air to end the inning.

Red Sox 5, Orioles 5, Mid 6th -- And just like that, it's a tie game. David Ortiz got things started by making up for missing a couple of pitches he should have killed in the third by absolutely crushing a high fastball over everything in right field. It was a mammoth shot that will surely find its way to the top of the distance charts by the end of the night.

Adrian Gonzalez kept the rally rolling with an opposite field double down the line in left, but had to stay at second when Will Middlebrooks' low liner to short was nearly caught by J.J. Hardy, eventually going for an infield single. Both runners would advance on Jarrod Saltalamacchia's rocket to first which Chris Davis managed to knock down, allowing him to record the first out of the inning. Daniel Nava got the second run of the frame home with a sacrifice fly, and then, miracle of miracles, a run-scoring balk was called not against the Red Sox, but in their favor, as Will Middlebrooks' fake towards home brought Hunter out of his windup.

Orioles 5, Red Sox 2, End 5th -- Clay Buchholz records a 1-2-3 inning as he attempts to perform just well enough to keep himself in the rotation for yet another week.

Orioles 5, Red Sox 2, Mid 5th -- 1-2-3 go the Sox in the fifth inning. After sending six men to the basepaths in the last pair, this is not a good sign for a team that needs to start putting some more runs up if they want to stand a chance here.

Orioles 5, Red Sox 2, End 4th -- Chris Davis continues to be a thorn in Boston's side, leading off the inning with a solo shot to center field. I believe extending this metaphor, for the record, would leave Buchholz as the knife in the team's back.

Orioles 4, Red Sox 2, Mid 4th --Three straight Red Sox reach base, but because of a poor stolen base attempt by Will Middlebrooks, they get zero runs out of it. The only question is: whose fault was the stolen base attempt? Middlebrooks' for going with no sign, Saltalamacchia for checking his swing on a hit and run, or Bobby V's if he gave him the green light to run.

Orioles 4, Red Sox 2, End 3rd -- So much for the revitalization of Clay Buchholz. As seems to be the norm for him, one little thing goes wrong, and suddenly it's chaos for the Sox. A ground ball just barely made its way past Dustin Pedroia to give Wilson Betemit a leadoff single and send Clay back into a spiral. A six-pitch walk to Nick Johnson made it two men on, and a poorly played bunt (on Buchholz' part) allowed Robert Andino to load the bases.

Clay would make it easy on the Orioles by walking in Xavier Avery, although a couple close pitches did not go his way. J.J. Hardy would hit a ground ball up the middle where Mike Aviles thought twice about starting the double play, and ultimately cost himself a chance at even one out. Another walk made it 3-2 before a double play gave the Orioles a fourth run in exchange for effectively putting an end to the rally.

Red Sox 2, Orioles 0, Mid 3rd -- The Sox take the first lead of the game thanks to some early damage from the bottom of the order. Where the meat of the lineup had been able to do nothing, Daniel Nava led off the inning with a flair into center field for the first hit of the game. Marlon Byrd followed up with a ground rule double to put runners at second and third with no outs.

Che-Hsuan Lin didn't do the best job of cashing in, grounding out to third with no advance allowed, but Mike Aviles hit a line drive off of Tommy Hunter's glove to get the first run across.The Sox would score a second run when Dustin Pedroia flew out to deep enough right field to get Byrd in on a sacrifice, but David Ortiz let a couple very hittable pitches get by him as he struck out on a foul tip.

Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, End 2nd -- Three straight ground ball outs leave Clay Buchholz with another clean inning to his name. The Orioles could be in for a long night, as Buchholz seems to have both his changeup and curveball moving and under control. That's a deadly combo on any night.

Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, Mid 2nd -- Adrian Gonzalez tries to get tricky to lead off the second, bunting towards third with the shift on, but it was too close to Tommy Hunter, who recorded the out without much difficulty. Will Middlebrooks and Jarrod Saltalamacchia make it another clean set for Hunter, going down in speedy fashion to end the inning.

Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, End 1st -- Clay Buchholz has almost an identical first to that of Tommy Hunter: The first pitch pop up and four pitch strikeout were followed up by a four-pitch fly ball to center this time, however, rather than a five-pitch ground ball. A very nice beginning to an important start for Buchholz.

Red Sox 0, Orioles 0, Mid 1st -- Not an encouraging start for the Sox offensively. Mike Aviles sees his streak of leadoff homers endat two games when he pops up on the first pitch of the game, and Dustin Pedroia goes down on strikes not long after. Only David Ortiz is able to at least make Tommy Hunter work, fighting to a 2-2 count before grounding into the shift to end the top of the first.

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Red Sox Vs. Orioles Lineups: Che-Hsuan Lin Starts In Right

The Red Sox will take on the Orioles in the first game of a three-game set Monday night as they try and return to .500. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. EST, with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.

Che-Hsuan Lin will get his first career start in the MLB in right field. It's an odd place to put Lin, given his incredible defense and the...often adventurous nature with Marlon Byrd in center. The Sox will have to hope Byrd's familiarity in center and Lin's big arm will make up the difference in utilizing their range.

Boston Red Sox (20-21)

  1. Mike Aviles, SS
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. David Ortiz, DH
  4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  5. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
  6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  7. Daniel Nava, LF
  8. Marlon Byrd, CF
  9. Che-Hsuan Lin, RF
Baltimore Orioles (27-15)
  1. Xavier Avery, LF
  2. J.J. Hardy, SS
  3. Nick Markakis, RF
  4. Adam Jones, CF
  5. Matt Wieters, C
  6. Chris Davis, 1B
  7. Wilson Betemit, 3B
  8. Nick Johnson, DH
  9. Robert Andino, 2B

Next Game

Boston Red Sox
@ Baltimore Orioles

Monday, May 21, 2012, 7:05 PM EDT
Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Clay Buchholz vs Tommy Hunter

Partly cloudy,rain. Winds blowing out to left field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 75.

Complete Coverage >

Continue

Red Sox Vs. Orioles: Boston Looks For Payback In Baltimore

The Red Sox began a run of twenty games in twenty days by getting swept in Boston by the Orioles. Now they will try to end their gauntlet run on a better note with a chance for vengeance in Baltimore.

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